HOn3 shelf layout – Brian’s

Brian’s been in touch with his HOn3 shelf layout update.

(Scroll down for the larger pics, some of the higer pics are a tad small.)

“Hi Alastair,

Here is my write up of my HOn3 shelf layout from the start in May to the current date.

Below is a photo of the garage that will house my layout. All the wood for the bench work ‘shelving’ can be seen here. This photo was taken from the garage door side looking in.

Bench work in place ready for adding the LED strip lights under the valance’s.

benchwork for shelf layout

Layout size in the converted garage is 14ft by 11ft. This was before the continuous loop on the upper shelf was added.

HOn3 shelf layout

Temporary track placed in the logging area a the upper shelf before adding the LED lighting strips.

laying track HOn3 shelf layout

Scenery added behind the logging area and track fixed in place. The hole on the cork is where the Spar tree will be mounted for the loading of the logs.

HOn3 shelf layout

This photo shows the full length of the logging line on the upper shelf.

turntable HOn3 shelf layout

This is on the opposite side showing the yard area at Cascade Creek and where the engine terminal facilities will be with the turntable in place.

HOn3 shelf layout

This is the shelf in front of the window above my workbench, this will complete the circle for the top shelf to allow for a continuous run.

backdrop for model train layout

A section of 3mm thick Masonite used for the mountain backdrop with different colours of scenic material added giving it a 3D look. Clouds were sprayed on the blue backdrop before the Masonite ‘mountain’ was added.

laying track shelf layout

Below is another view of the town of Hillside with most of the industries shown. Also shows the Masonite mountain thickness of 3mm still giving the 3D effect.

wide angle view shelf layout

This is an overall view of the layout looking towards the window area. The door in top right is the entrance to the train room.The harbour will be on on the lower right hand side at the end of the shelf where a lighthouse can be seen. (Not it’s final position)

HOn3 shelf layout

A view from the opposite side also showing where the harbour will be on the lower left. The lighthouse is the giveaway.

model train corner curve

This is the removable connecting piece that will add the continuous loop on the upper level.

model train layout corner

Here it is in place and fully sceniced. Two hobos are walking along the tracks to the hobo camp under the tree in the distance.

HOn3 shelf layout

This is the town of Cascade Creek filling up a corner on the upper level.

A view from the opposite side of the HOn3 shelf layout showing the industries on it.

HOn3 shelf layout yard

A full yard at Cascade Creek terminal. All of the buildings shown here are Woodland Scenics metal and wooden kits in the process of being built, painted and all will have interior lights and details where applicable.

HOn3 rail yard

This is the log loading area at Camp 4 on the upper shelf. Vehicles are kit bashed Woodland Scenics and Jordan. Log cars are resin castings with added trucks, log bunks and Kadee couplers.

HOn3 logging camp

The start of Red Hook harbour on the lower shelf.

wharf layout HOn3 scale

Some of the industries at Red Hook harbour.

First layer of Woodland Scenics realistic water in the harbour. Still have to pour 3 more layers 3mm at a time to get it to the right height.

woodland scenics water

This view of Red Hook harbour shows the position of the working lighthouse and a fishing shack on the left hand side.

shlef layout mock up

A small boat hire industry at the water level in the harbour.

boats in harbor HOn3 scale

A night time view of Red Hook harbour.

night scene HOn3 scale harbor

night time view HOn3 scale harbor

A small wharf in the harbour taken at night in this view.

model train harbor pier

A fully operational harbour with a boat being off loaded at the wharf and the contractors barge being readied for a night shift.

HOn3 scale model train harbor

A few of my boats that are ready to be placed around the waterways on the layout. The orange roofed one is an original ‘as is’ resin casting – painted and weathered and the other 3 have been modified by milling out the holds and filling them with details.

HOn3 scale harbor boats

The kitbashed Fine Scale Miniatures sawmill with full interior detail and lights.

HOn3 scale model train sawmill

A night shot of the industries in the harbour area.

night scene HOn3 scale harbor

The night shift working hard to get the boat ready for its next sailing.

HOn3 scale harbor night scene

Track work being laid from the harbour area around to Pelican Bay.

laying track HOn3 scale shelf layout

A scratch built barge cleaning up the waterways in Red Hook harbour.

HOn3 scale scratch built barge

Card stock mock-ups of some of the kits yet to be built at Pelican Bay. Photo copies are glued to the card stock which then give me an idea of where the finished product will be placed.

HOn3 scale shelf layout card mock up

Another view.

HOn3 scale shelf layout card mock up

Some of the 3D printed boats, painted and detailed that will populate the waterways around the layout.

HOn3 scale harbor boats 3d printer

The boat builder and repair shop at Pelican Bay. (described in a previous post).

HOn3 scale boat shed harbor

A Shay logging locomotive bringing in a log load from Camp 4 and will be delivered to the sawmill.

HON3 scale model train logging locomotive

A refrigerator train ready to depart, clearing a track for the log train on the right hand side to be delivered to the sawmill. A Passenger train is waiting for clearance to leave.

HOn3 scale model train freight passenger

An overall view of the Pelican Bay extension on the lower level. On the right is the white card stock building mock-up of the Seafood Emporium.

HOn3 scale model train shelf layout

Some of the machines that will be used in and outside some of the kits. They are Scale Structures kits assembled and painted. The vehicle is a Woodland Scenics kit.

HOn3 shelf layout lorry freight

One of my latest kit bashed kits, the Fine Scale Miniatures Seafood Emporium.

kit bash HOn3 scale harbor

A Sierra West kit of Foss boat launch company.

HOn3 scale model train quay harbor

A Fine Scale Miniatures Water Tank and Tool shed for the upper level at Cascade Creek terminal.

water tank model train HOn3 scale

A footnote: all of my buildings have full interior details and lights where possible.

The HOn3 shelf layout is all DCC by Lenz and has three hand held controllers.

In quite a few photos it can be seen that there is still a lot of ground cover and scenic material to be added and buildings bedded into the ground.

The night shots were taken with the blue ceiling light switched on and all other ceiling lights switched off.

All of the above is a work in progress.

Kind regards


A big thanks to Hall of fame member Brian, it’s always good to see a layout grow from the ground up.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

22 Responses to HOn3 shelf layout – Brian’s

  1. Herman Crauwels says:

    Good job and layout !!
    HC Treintje Belgium.

  2. David Howarth says:

    Alot of work gone in to this layout ..well done

  3. Brian Rockey says:

    Premier league modelling Brian – a master craftsman!
    Best to all.
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  4. Stephen Hill says:

    Brian , that’d an amazing display , one can clearly see why you are in the hall of fame modelers club . Your craftsmanship and attention to detail is just incredible sir . Truly inspiring . Thank you for posting . Amazing stuff , I really don’t know how you do it .

  5. Guy says:

    What a fantastic layout.
    I will be starting something similar in my garage but need access at the front and back of the garage to regularly carry “stuff” through.
    I’ve thought of “flaps” on hinges but the idea doesn’t really impress me. I like the idea of 2 easily removable sections, one at the front and one at the back of the proposed layout in the garage, but am not confident enough yet to go ahead due to potential smooth connecting problems for the track. Any simple solutions or ideas ?

  6. Rob McCrain says:

    Great use of the available space. Lovely layout with lots of interesting scenes to study. Nice going.
    Rob McCrain

  7. DavidMichael Caldwell says:

    I’m utterly speechless!!!!

    …talk about “attention to detail”….

    Simply Amazing, my friend.

  8. George Zaky says:

    There are no words to describe this masterpiece of art. I wish some of the pics were clearer so I can marvel some more. This missive is astonishing by its content and size and we all thank you for that.
    You are a get it done guy. Some of us suffer “Paralysis by Analysis” but you just work at it and ” Get er done.” You are a talented artist.
    The detail and expense of your layout is beyond overwhelming to us mortals and further increases the Wow factor.
    Big Al- much thanks

  9. Arthur J Romano says:

    Looks like one can step into the scenes and hear the sounds and smell the smells of hard working machines. Very slick.

  10. BRic Waterman says:

    Amazing modeling, masterful and inspiring. What’s your RR’s name?

  11. Marklin ed says:

    Brian, thanks for the wonderful, world you have created. The information you shared is most help full.

  12. Steve Weitzner says:

    Brian what a fabulous layout. Full of inspirational ideas for me. Can you show us the track layout scheme?

  13. Rob says:

    What a wonderful work of art you have created! Well planned and executed. I really love seeing all these great railroads every day. I have to ask the question again… Why do the fascia boards on most layouts have paint on them defining the border (some subtle and some not so subtle)? To me it takes away from the total visual experience. At the very least you could put a camo type scheme on them so they don’t jump out at you and take away from the beautiful scenery beyond. I am nobody to criticize the workmanship on any of these models but to me, a blending of the border and the railway would seem to be a real enhancement to the enjoyment of the intricate work beyond. Just sayin’

  14. Dave A Bellian says:

    what an outstanding layout. The water scenes are absolutely fabulous..So this is all O guage but narrow gauge trackage ? The detail on the interior of the boat repair really looks great. Thanks for the pics, and thanks Alstair for showing the gauges of these layouts.

  15. JOHN says:

    That’s quite a layout… and quite a story! Love your waterfront scenarios. Great attention to detail.

  16. william janmes palmer says:

    join the nmra and do some paperwork bet you have several certificates done awesome job keep it up

  17. Jeff in Seattle says:

    Amazing and inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Ed says:

    Very nice Great pictures

  19. TJK says:

    I’m exhausted….that is a lot of work….

  20. Frank says:

    So much talent has gone into in creating your vision of your model railroad and the world it lives in.

    Frank in Orlando

  21. Robert Muhme says:

    Your whole layout is turning out ss impressive as Pelican Bay boathouse you showed us awhile ago! Quite a talent for the details you have!
    Bob M in Michigan

  22. Alabama Mike says:

    A fantastic layout. So beautiful and detailed. What else is there to say. A super job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *